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LEGO Autostadt
Need somewhere to park 193 new cars?
About this creation

1.

The Volkswagen Autostadt site in Wolfsburg, Germany, features two fully glazed, galvanised steel frame car towers (or silos) that store up to 800 newly built production cars awaiting delivery to their new owners.

Cars arrive underground on pallets direct from the adjacent production plant and are automatically loaded into their storage bay using a robotically controlled elevator mechanism. The same mechanisms later unload and deliver the car to the customer centre ready for the customer to drive away, with zero miles on the clock.

For reference I've included a few pictures of the real Autostadt. There's also a good YouTube video (not mine) showing the towers in operation. Worth a watch if you can spare 7 minutes of your life.

The links above the pictures link to the higher resolution image on MOCpages, BrickShelf, and Flickr, the latter two being the highest resolution.






2.


This is a 26000-part LEGO model based on one of the Autostadt towers. I considered building a true microscale version of both towers complete with surrounding landscaping, and I may still do that one day, but for now I was more tempted to go for this larger version with proper cars and functional elevator.






3.

The real towers each hold up to 400 cars - 20 floors of 20 - although the visitor area seems to consume some spaces so I'm not quite sure if the 400 include the ones on the elevator and production pallet. The LEGO model stores up to 193 cars with 12 floors of 16 (minus 1 for entrance, plus 2 on the elevator). It can take 4 and 5-wide cars up to a length of 11.5 studs, although 1st floor storage can extend that a little to around 14 studs long.






4.

Since I'm building only the tower and not the whole production plant and underground pallet rail delivery system I chose to make the standalone model a little more playable and presentable by swapping the visitor entrance for a drive-in entrance at the front of the model.






5.

Like the real Autostadt towers the walls of the LEGO tower are completely glazed and circular, using 384 pairs of hinge-plates to create the outer circle of 383 large windows.






6.

On either side of the tower base there are recessed control wheels for operating the elevator inside. On this shot you can also see the emergency ladder that spans the full height of the tower.






7.

Cars are driven up the entrance ramp onto the elevator platform ready to be taken to their storage bay. The platform features a number of lights and control buttons behind the car. On each side there is a speaker system, a tilt & swivel video camera, and a fire extinguisher, and on the edge there is a lighting bar to which multiple lights can be attached.






8.

The left control wheel gearing rotates the entire elevator assembly which is mounted on a Technic turntable. The right control wheel gearing passes through the center of the turntable to turn a long worm gear which then drives a rack inside the elevator platform to elevate it to each floor.

One slightly odd quirk of this mechanism is that because the worm is attached to the shaft, and the whole shaft rotates, when you turn the left wheel to rotate the shaft you'll either get some unwanted change in elevation or the rotation of the worm will feed back and turn the right wheel at the same time. Being a digital model I'm not sure which will happen - probably the path of least resistance - but the straightforward solution is to always rotate first then elevate last.






9.

Using the controls the car can then be positioned at the correct storage bay. The real Audostadt actually has two independently controllable elevators that each service 180° of the building. On this scale there wasn't sufficient room to provide two elevators with base-controlled independent gearing for elevation and rotation so I elected for a single 360° elevator which can hold two cars instead.






10.

One consequence of the real Autostadt having twin 180° elevators is that the interior is not quite a perfect circle, but slightly more eliptical where the two halves meet. The 360° elevator on the LEGO version simplified this and allows a perfect circle on the interior as well as the exterior.






11.

Once at the desired bay, the car is moved into place. This shot uses a wide-angle lens effect, hence the elongation nearer the edges of the picture.






12.

The real Autostadt uses a very clever mechanism under the car to lift and slide it into place (shown on the previously linked video). Unfortunately there's just no way on this scale I could replicate that automation so the LEGO version needs the car to be driven onto the storage bay instead and the poor staffer has to be careful not to fall off the platform to his death :)






13.

Looking up to the top of the elevator. The elevator shaft is long but there's very little lateral load to worry about. It just needs anchored at the top to the roof using 4 axles so it doesn't topple. There's also a small 4x4 turntable in there below the round grey plates.






14.

Elevator on the top floor. I had to remove some storage bays to get the view from this position. There's a not entirely insignificant gap for the car to drive over to reach the storage bay. There's actually room to add a bracket and sideways tiles to the end of the elevator platform to all but eliminate this gap, but then you could only rotate the elevator whilst it's between floors, so I left them out (didn't want to restrict my potential animation options...)






15.

This shot was intended to be a teaser for the next shot as to what's on the roof, but you can probably already work it out.






16.

The roof. Sadly the real Autostadt doesn't feature a big flashy VW logo on the roof to please the Google Satellite viewers :)






17.

The windowed centerpiece of the roof simply lifts off giving you the ability to reach inside and access the cars. The structure of the building seems pretty solid and you could safely build somewhat beyond the 12 floors, but you would need rather long arms to reach the lower level cars using this rooftop access.






18.

Another wide-angle shot. The real Autostadt is pretty much all glass, white, black, and grey, so I tried to introduce a bit of colour. Of course, all the coloured cars help.






19.

I first tried to build my elevator shaft using long vertical Technic bricks because I felt it would closer match the real Autostadt. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a way to perfectly centralise the platform and the worm on the Technic turntable so I had to settle for a shaft built from upright bricks with vertical Technic beams for structural integrity.






20.

Another slightly wide-angle shot. Some of the taller vehicles only just manage to scrape in heightwise with less than a plate thickness to spare.






21.

The black pipes running down all the grey support columns are a mixture of roof drainage and electrical conduit. There's bright white spotlights shining down between all the cars to fully illuminate the whole tower, and softer yellow overhead lighting for an alternative more eco-friendly gentle glow.






22.

Empty storage bay. I am tempted in the reflection to go back and put a little minifig holding a camera... but the model isn't exactly minifig scale and he'd literally have to be perched on the very last stud of the platform to recreate this view.






23.

Same as previous image, but now you can see the real Autostadt towers and visitor centre in the background. Had the angle on the photo been more suitable I would of course have rendered this from the top floor looking down.






24.

The thing about building a car storage tower for 193 cars... is that you actually need 193 cars. There's around 20 car designs in the model, with colour variations extending that to the full 193. Here's a few of them.






25.

A few more of the 20 car designs. The cars are either my own or more commonly variations of official LEGO cars, modified or rebuilt to suit the length and height restrictions of the tower.






26.

A cross-sectional shot with a substantial part of one side removed. I wouldn't recommend removing such a large section on the real model, but you could probably safely remove a 5x5 section at the back for additional access providing you kept a number of floors intact including the 1st, 12th, and roof. It also probably wouldn't be too difficult to swap some hinge-plates for tiles and make a section slide in and out at the back.






27.

A more closeup cross-sectional shot compared to the previous image. Excuse the 4 floating lights - that's a symptom of the internal structure of the model and how the cross-section was created.






28.

After seeing this I had to do my own nighttime version...






29.

Nighttime shot. Or nightmare shot as I call it. With this amount of glass and light sources this took over 70 hours to render (and many more hours to prepare). I couldn't even afford to turn all the lights on either (electricity is so expensive these days!) so only lit the front storage bays - all 192 storage bay spotlights would have far exceeded the Windows virtual memory limit and doing a composite render instead would probably have taken more than 250 hours.






30.

Nighttime shot closeup. It's extremely difficult to get good looking interior lighting on these shots. Not least of all because making any change to the lighting setup here results in a 5 hour delay even on the low-resolution trial render just to see if it improved or not.






31.

Same shot again. I don't normally keep old trial renders but this earlier lighting attempt of the previous shot produced this most unexpected shadow on the ramp due to the way the lighting spills through the gaps between the car bays. For a moment I thought it was turning into Gotham City Tower.






32.

Screenshot (non-render).
The plan view of each floor. The circular glass walls are held together with hinge-plates. The large base plates each car sits on almost meet at the inner radius too - there's a tiny gap, so technically the outer walls can flex a little and deform the perfect circle. However, there are anchor axles at the roof and more in the base that assist in holding the circle in shape, much like the way the spokes of a bicycle wheel hold the hub in the center of the wheel and can be adjusted to keep the rim in shape.






33.

Screenshot (non-render).
The elevator shaft and elevator platform with two cars on it.






34.

Screenshot (non-render).
The stack of 191 cars, all parked to absolute perfection :)
The cars use around 9700 parts, roughly 50 per car on average.






35.

Screenshot (non-render).
The space saving the tower gives over 192 flat tightly parked cars. You could nearly double this car park if you left lane gaps for individual car access, and double it again since the real Autostadt towers hold 400 cars.






36.

Screenshot (non-render).
The real Autostadt currently has 2 towers but they have reserved space for 4, giving a total of 1600 cars. In terms of this LEGO model that's the 768 cars shown above (over 100000 parts in total), and again you could nearly double that car park if adding lane gaps and double it again for the real Autostadt.





• • • • • •





That's it! I had been wanting to build something circular for a while, and as you can probably imagine the moment I saw the Autostadt in operation I knew I had to build a LEGO version of it. But the rendering was a real pain - this many parts, and especially this many transparent parts (windows, windscreens, headlamps, lights, around 1500 in total), resulted in many rather lengthy renders and has left me considering whether to ever attempt an animation.

If I were building this for real I'd probably change a few things. I'd put more detailing into the base. Although I did want the clean and uncluttered look, I had to really watch the part count in order to make it renderable at all. Since building I've now realised there is water around the base of the towers. I'd probably add a few plate layers to the top floor to allow for taller vehicles on this floor, and build a taller roof structure. I'd try to provide a hinged or removable section at the back so that it was easier to access the internals on the lower levels, also making it possible to build higher than 12 floors. I'd consider increasing the number of cars from 16 per level - the larger radius in the center would give more room for the elevator mechanics - hopefully enough to provide the two independently geared elevators. As for the gearing to actually slide the cars in and out of the bays, I reckon you'd need to at least double the scale to 8-wide cars to stand a chance of doing it reliably. Plus to motorise and automate it accurately you'd need some rather clever electronics. Would be a fun if somewhat expensive project though. But in some ways a non-motorised model is more playable...


  • 12 Floors, 16 Cars Per Floor
  • 193 Cars
  • 26000 Total Parts
  • 9700 Car Parts
  • 1500 Transparent Parts
  • Base 619mm x 781mm (78x99)
  • Height 802mm (101)
  • Tower Diameter 507mm (64)
  • Most Used Part: 2x2 Tile (4362 of)
  • Built with LDraw (MLCad & POV-Ray)




  • Comments

     I made it 
      May 12, 2015
    Quoting Nils O. Wow, that's extremely cool, a great digital Lego version of this neat and clever piece of architecture! The design is awesome, especially the working lift system. Great job! :-)) By the way, if you want to see a big VW logo, take a look with Google Maps at the turnaround in front of the Bratislava plant ;-))
    Hi, thanks for the comment and Bratislava info - took me a moment to find it due to there being a bus logo on top of it at 500ft/100m ;-)
     I like it 
      May 11, 2015
    Wow, that's extremely cool, a great digital Lego version of this neat and clever piece of architecture! The design is awesome, especially the working lift system. Great job! :-)) By the way, if you want to see a big VW logo, take a look with Google Maps at the turnaround in front of the Bratislava plant ;-))
     I made it 
      December 5, 2014
    Quoting Ron Dayes Marvellous! Great! Huge! I really enjoy your build, must have taken you long time to build. Especially the reassemblance and the functions stand out! Also nice 4 wide car design! I wish it could fit my 6-7 wide cars, but then it would be double the size^^ . Congrats man, well done. Totally earns 5/5.
    Thanks Ron! Not that long to build actually, once I worked out how to solve all the circular problems. Repetitiveness comes easy on digital builds. But renders, with all this glass, take ages! I think a few icebergs noticably melted.
     I like it 
      December 5, 2014
    Marvellous! Great! Huge! I really enjoy your build, must have taken you long time to build. Especially the reassemblance and the functions stand out! Also nice 4 wide car design! I wish it could fit my 6-7 wide cars, but then it would be double the size^^ . Congrats man, well done. Totally earns 5/5.
     I made it 
      September 10, 2014
    Quoting Stephan N I have been in the Autostadt. Your creation is just perfect.
    Thanks Stephan!
     I like it 
      September 8, 2014
    I have been in the Autostadt. Your creation is just perfect.
     I made it 
      August 31, 2014
    Quoting Marcus Paul Great idea and execution! I love the idea of having more technical elements in a town surrounding.
    Thanks Marcus!
     I like it 
      August 31, 2014
    Great idea and execution! I love the idea of having more technical elements in a town surrounding.
     I made it 
      August 31, 2014
    Quoting Topsy Creatori Thanks for the wonderment! :)
    Thanks Topsy :)
     I made it 
      August 31, 2014
    Quoting Gabor Horvath Wow! It's amazing!
    Thanks Gabor!
     I like it 
      August 31, 2014
    Thanks for the wonderment! :)
     I like it 
      August 31, 2014
    Wow! It's amazing!
     I made it 
      August 31, 2014
    Quoting Sven Jagdmann I know the Autostadt and it's towers very well because i was there several times. You did an awesome job on replicating it in Lego. I miss no detail! Absolute impressive work in detail and size ;)
    Thanks Sven!
     I made it 
      August 31, 2014
    Quoting Yann (XY EZ) This is trully amazing! With that, you are near of perfection! I'm impressed first by the size, then also by the realism and finally by the fact you build it on LDD! Excellent work! 5/5 8-)
    Thanks Yann! I don't know what's wrong with me, but I don't seem to be able to build small any more :) btw that's not LDD, it's LDraw (using MLCad).
     I made it 
      August 31, 2014
    Quoting Henrik Jensen A truly spectacular project! Your elevator concept with worm gear and rack are well designed. I would love to see it realized in real bricks.
    Thanks Henrik! That worm drive certainly took a few attempts, what with the limited space available in the elevator shaft and the need to have it perfectly centralised. There's also a bit of backlash since the teeth of the rack don't fully embed into the worm.
     I like it 
      August 31, 2014
    I know the Autostadt and it's towers very well because i was there several times. You did an awesome job on replicating it in Lego. I miss no detail! Absolute impressive work in detail and size ;)
     I like it 
      August 31, 2014
    This is trully amazing! With that, you are near of perfection! I'm impressed first by the size, then also by the realism and finally by the fact you build it on LDD! Excellent work! 5/5 8-)
     I like it 
      August 30, 2014
    A truly spectacular project! Your elevator concept with worm gear and rack are well designed. I would love to see it realized in real bricks.
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Starscream Soundwave Magnificent work! A technical and aesthetic marvel.
    Thanks SS!
     I like it 
      August 30, 2014
    Magnificent work! A technical and aesthetic marvel.
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Nick Barrett I love it when you put together such an ambitious project as this. The result is stunningly effective and seamlessly stylish.
    Thanks Nick! Those are all words I could use for pretty much everything on your page! Just wish I had the capability to make the renders look as real as a photograph...
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Thomas of Tortuga This model is excellent, but the presentation is truly awe-inspiring. The effort put into those renders, especially with the lighted shots, is amazing, and I can tell you spent more effort on the post's HTML than most people will realize. Very, very nice work.
    Thanks Thomas! I'm a techie so any html cleverness is easy for me, and with the renders taking 7 weeks there was plenty spare time to prepare the submission here (and on the other lego sites). I would have preferred to spend the time building something else, but the system can't really cope with doing renders and CAD at the same time - in fact on most of these large renders I'd be lucky if I could run Notepad at the same time. Thanks again for the kind comments.
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Elk Guard Amazing work!
    Thanks Elk!
     I like it 
      August 30, 2014
    I love it when you put together such an ambitious project as this. The result is stunningly effective and seamlessly stylish.
     I like it 
      August 30, 2014
    This model is excellent, but the presentation is truly awe-inspiring. The effort put into those renders, especially with the lighted shots, is amazing, and I can tell you spent more effort on the post's HTML than most people will realize. Very, very nice work.
      August 30, 2014
    The reception does take up 2-3 car spaces, but the tower continues a stage of 2-3 under the ground as well. It seems like they're holding 20-30 cars per floor and it counts like 30 floors. Hope that helps!
     I like it 
      August 30, 2014
    Amazing work!
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Loek M I've been here quite recently... Your model looks spot on! Nice work!
    Thanks! Wish I had been able to talk to someone who has visited this site before building this. There's quite a few questions I have which couldn't be answered from the photos I've seen. Like, how do they count 400 cars? It looks like 19 glass-walled floors and 1 non-glass walled floor, each holding 20 cars, but then there's a reception area which seems to occupy at least 2 car slots, so I'm still curious about the 400...
     I like it 
      August 30, 2014
    I've been here quite recently... Your model looks spot on! Nice work!
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Boo Guess Brilliant. A terrific build.
    Thanks Boo! and welcome to MOCpages.
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Darth Reaper Wow! At first i was like "WHAAAT???!" Awesome job, real "Digital Dream!"
    Thanks! Darth Reaper... what a great name :)
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting Amarone Design it's amazing! I admire your ability to plan that complex building with MLCAD. Excellent 6Stars!
    Thanks! It's actually not that complex. Once a few issues relating to the circular nature of the building were solved, it came together quite well. I know and understand that some people will struggle with large structures in CAD, it certainly can get tricky to handle, but fortunately what I lack in LEGO building skills I make up for in computing and technical skills.
     I made it 
      August 30, 2014
    Quoting cyberfrank 2010 this is fantastic! I have a multi level parking, and thought it would be remarkable, but, you made better, what a feat, incredible, I wish I had the money to build such a tower, almost 400 windows however, is quite a lot of material, this must cost thousands to build, mega bravo!
    Thanks Frank! Wish I had the money too. Even on digital builds when you start multiplying part quantities by 192 or 384 you gotta be conservative or the part count will go through the roof, which ultimately makes the renders difficult to impossible.
     I like it 
      August 29, 2014
    Brilliant. A terrific build.
     I like it 
      August 29, 2014
    Wow! At first i was like "WHAAAT???!" Awesome job, real "Digital Dream!"
     I like it 
      August 29, 2014
    it's amazing! I admire your ability to plan that complex building with MLCAD. Excellent 6Stars!
     I like it 
      August 29, 2014
    this is fantastic! I have a multi level parking, and thought it would be remarkable, but, you made better, what a feat, incredible, I wish I had the money to build such a tower, almost 400 windows however, is quite a lot of material, this must cost thousands to build, mega bravo!
     I made it 
      August 29, 2014
    Woohooo, my first MOC in a while. Note to group owners: I've added this to some car related groups. It's not always clear which groups only want car MOCs and which accept car related MOCs, so if you boot me back out I'll understand :)
     
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